CNET First Look
Samsung Central Station SyncMaster C23A750XDespite some bugs, the Samsung SyncMaster C23A750X succeeds as both a monitor and a wireless docking station.
Hey, guys, this is Eric Franklin from CNET.com and, no, your eyes do not deceive you. This is a Samsung SyncMaster C23A750X that is currently connected wirelessly to our test laptop. So what exactly is the 750X or Central Station as it's also called? It's essentially a wireless docking station/monitor with a number of inputs that connects your Windows 7 or XP laptop wirelessly. This allows you to stay mobile with your laptop, keep your keyboard, mouse and other peripherals on your desk when you bring your laptop within 5 feet of Central Station, everything reconnects without a single button press. Only possible by this small USB dongle that connects to your laptop. All your desktop peripherals can be connected to Central Station via its 2 USB 2.0 ports or 2 USB 3.0 ports. Also included is HDMI, a headphone jock, Ethernet, USB upstream and VGA. The dual-hinged design allows for height adjustment as well extreme 90-degree back tilt. The OSC offers the usual good assortment of options we expect from Samsung monitors including 5 presets, individual color controls and magic angle which allows you to view the monitor from specific angles with minimal color changes. The monitor's narrow base design makes it one of the wobbliest monitors we've ever punched around. In movies, we saw fairly deep blacks for [unk] monitor and colors looked accurate without overemphasizing red or green as some monitors are known to do. When connected wirelessly, we did notice a small drop in visual quality versus HDMI though. In games, we saw a vibrancy that matched the PX270's legendary vibrancy levels. Colors pop without appearing too oversaturated. When playing Call of Duty Black Ops wirelessly, there was a noticeable dip in frame rate but control responsiveness wasn't mostly affected. In addition, there was a definite degradation in visual quality in the game. As a traditional display, Central Station performs well. Also, aside from a few idiosyncratic differences it had with one of our test systems as a wireless docking station, Central Station works as Samsung advertises. As good as its functionality is, however, we feel that $450 is a bit too high. It would be more comfortable with something under $400. The monitor itself would probably run around $300 and as noble and useful as added functionality can be. It won't be worth an extra $150 to most users. That being said, if you have the money to spend and our laptop user who is constantly mobile with your computer, Central Station provides a level of convenience you've likely never experienced and will probably be of high value to you. Once again, this is Eric Franklin and this has been a First Look at the Samsung SyncMaster C23A750X or Central Station.